Michael Lettieri

Michael LettieriProfessor Lettieri has achieved a towering international reputation not only through his exceptional publications in the fields of textual criticism and Italian theatre, but also through his accomplishments in the scholarship of teaching and learning.

He has taught every level of the Italian language program, and has contributed to the literature, linguistics, and teaching and learning programs. Professor Lettieri has also led innovative curricular renewal, frequently launching customized courses into otherwise unexplored areas of the Italian curriculum.

Professor Lettieri’s consistently superlative level of teaching performance is attested by his several teaching awards, including the 1986-1987 UofT APUS/SAC Undergraduate Teaching Award in the category of Faculty of Arts and Science – Humanities, and the 1993 OCUFA Teaching Award for outstanding contributions in the area of instruction, teaching and course development.

Further testimony to his excellence as a teacher of Italian is his participation since 1988 as a Visiting Professor in the internationally renowned Summer Language Schools at Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT. Lettieri also served as Dean and Associate Director of the Italian School at Middlebury College (1991-1995), and Director of the School from 1995 to 2005, making both at the undergraduate and graduate levels extraordinary contributions to its curriculum, and cementing it as one of the most notable Italian language schools in the world. Lettieri has also created, taught and coordinated Italian courses at Allegheny College (Meadville, PA).

At the University of Toronto Mississauga, he has served as Associate Chair of Italian, Associate Dean (Humanities) and Vice-Principal (Academic), and is currently chair of the Department of Language Studies. In all of these roles, he was actively involved in several major curriculum development initiatives.

In addition to this high level of performance in the classroom and in administration, Professor Lettieri has been extremely active in the development of educational materials. To improve the teaching and learning of Italian, he has prepared and designed, together with some of the most prominent scholars in the teaching of Italian, effective and innovative pedagogical materials, language learning software, manuals, and textbooks – published with prominent publishers in the field, and adopted in high schools and universities all over the world – that allow students to converse “naturally”, in a conceptually and grammatically accurate manner.

Professor Lettieri’s involvement in language and literature pedagogy is also amply attested by: his many publications in this area, his editorial contributions to a number of pedagogical journals and series, his participation in various groups concerned with language teaching within and outside the university, and by his invitations to lecture and offer workshops in the area of language teaching, and to assess other language programs, across Canada and the United States. Most importantly, as Associate Editor for pedagogy of Italica (the most important scholarly publication of Italian studies in North America, now in its 88th year of publication), he has edited thus far over fifteen issues dedicated to language pedagogy and linguistics.

All told, Professor Lettieri’s contributions to Italian and second language teaching, pedagogy and curriculum have reshaped the teaching of Italian across North America and internationally.